Hundreds of US Levees Decrepit, Dangerous
Army Corps of Engineers finds trouble in survey of system
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2013 8:06 AM CST
In this May 19, 2011 file photo, a row of flooded farm homes are pictured near Yazoo City, Miss.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

(Newser) – Apparently Hurricane Katrina wasn't enough to make America fix its levee system. Seven years after that disaster, hundreds of America's levees are poised to fail, the AP reports, based on an early look at the US Army Corps of Engineers' first ever inventory of the nationwide flood control system. So far, the Corps has only checked 1,451 of the nation's 2,487 levees, but of those, only 121 were deemed fully acceptable, while 1,004 were merely "minimally acceptable" and 326 were in dire need of repair.

Local governments are responsible for maintaining the levees, and some say they can't afford it. "It's just not right to tell a little town like this to spend millions of dollars that we can't raise," says one mayor—though plenty of big cities, like Washington, DC, Cleveland, and Dallas, are also on the naughty list. Others say the Corps is exaggerating the problems, noting that their systems held up to 2011's near-record flooding. But in many cases, Corps officials counter, it took heroic efforts to shore up ancient, crumbling structures. "That is not acceptable performance," one official says.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Jan 19, 2013 5:01 AM CST
If they're not going to fix them; they should not rebuild anything in the floodplain after a failure.
Jan 18, 2013 11:46 AM CST
Well gee whiz...after Bush planted all those explosives in them no wonder they are so weak.... : )
Jan 17, 2013 10:05 AM CST
The first stimulus package should have gone to projects that these. Not on companies to make solar panel and electric batteries. To bad